The Great Dutch Revival with Lennart van de Peppel

The Great Dutch Revival with Lennart van de Peppel

It's back on June 29th 2024.

Several months ago when the Dutch 1/4 Ultra was announced, many were ecstatic to see the event back even in a shortened format.

Throughout almost a decade, the event has been helping riders achieve world records, PRs and most importantly building camaraderie within our international community. Right now is an exciting time for the event as it experiences a new phase led by Lennart van de Peppel. We'll wrap up this intro and let him tell you all about it.

Lennart pushing up the Col du Galibier in France

Who are you, where do you live, other pursuits besides skating?

My name is Lennart van de Peppel, I currently live in Germany in the black forest close to Freiburg. I am a biologist and besides distance skating I also practice trail/ultra running and cycling.


Your event, the Dutch Ultraskate, has been going on since 2013 and has had a 3 year hiatus. Give us the details about what makes the event unique.

The first ever 24 hour ultraskate in the Netherlands took place in 2010. I skated my first ultra in 2011. Two years later I decided that I wanted to grow the event and make it more professional. We hosted the first Dutch Ultraskate at the Spaarndam track in 2013. After that the event returned annually and we had a two year hiatus during the Covid pandemic (2020 and 2021) and also in 2023 there was no Dutch Ultraskate. 

What makes the event special for me is its international character, more than half of the participants are international and we have had up to 14 different nationalities represented. I think it is more than just a race, it is also an important get together of the distance skateboarding community.


 The first Spaarndam event starting line.

Tell us about the Dutch Ultra course, unique conditions, and what’s the deal with slugs?

The Dutch Ultraskate track is a 3.15km long cycling track located near the tiny village of Spaarndam, close to Haarlem. The track is surrounded by trees and is therefore well protected from the wind. The course is nearly flat with a very small bump, which according to some, becomes a true hill after many hours of skating.

The slugs have been an important part of the Dutch Ultraskate. They crawl out of the grass next to the track during the night when the temperature drops and the humidity rises. Usually, there are so many that it becomes impossible to dodge them so the skaters will ride over them and pieces of slug will stick to skater’s legs and to the boards. 


Slug carnage at Dutch Ultraskate.

Who is on the Dutch Ultra team? Tell us about the new non-profit you created and how do you handle all of the responsibility amongst the team?

The Dutch Ultraskate was founded by me and Lonneke van Kampen. We have organized all the Dutch Ultraskates together. In 2014 Jery Baan strengthened the team and became our official master of time. This year Lonneke is on a long journey with her motorbike and therefore me and Jery are the organizers for the 2024 edition.

Since I also participate in the race, my tasks are focussed on arranging everything before the event (handling registrations, contacting sponsors, reserving the timing system etc.). Jery will be in charge on the day of the event. We also have a group of volunteers that help us out every year during the event.

This year we founded the Dutch Ultraskate Foundation, as it will make it easier for us to get permits and insurance (also for potential other events). The Dutch Ultraskate foundation consists of Jery (chairman), Rick Pronk (secretary) and me (treasurer).


Skating up Mont Ventoux with the homies (Lennart, Rick and Stan)

What are some of the most memorable moments of the race’s history?

For me personally every edition of the Dutch Ultraskate has been memorable in some way. For example, the first edition in 2013 we only had 24 participants but we had an amazing battle for the world record on the women’s side between Kim Klunder and Lonneke, which was won by Lonneke in the end. The year after we had more than double the number of participants and we also had our first three international participants. In 2015 we had our first overseas participants from the US and Singapore. That year Rick Pronk and Andy Andras broke and shared the world record. In 2017 Rick was the first person to break the 500km barrier and Saskia Tromp set the still-standing women's world record at 422.10km (262.28mi). 2018 was my personal highlight as I broke the 300mi barrier, together with Stan Bekker and Felipe Scolfaro. Team USA broke the team world record in 2019 and Andy broke the SUP world record in 2022.


A young Andras and even youngerer Rick Pronk after setting the world record back in 2015.

When did you first pick up a skateboard and how did your journey lead you to LDP?

I started skateboarding when I was 16 years old. Around 2010 I got into longboarding and later during that same year I got into long distance after skating a LongboardLarry Pusher. Having skated a regular skateboard for many years, the feeling of skating an extremely low pusher got me hooked immediately. I soon learned about the 24 hour ultraskate and skated my first ultraskate in 2011. The rest is history.  

 Lennart's 300 mile moment with a few friends including Stan Bekker and Felipe Scolfar

You are one of just 11 people who have ever broken the 300 mile in 24 hour benchmark. What’s your advice for anyone trying to hit 300?

In order to be able to skate 300 miles you really need to love the sport as it requires a lot of dedication. Since you skate mainly in a relatively low heart rate zone the most important thing is to build good aerobic endurance. For distance skateboarding I never had a specific training schedule or any structured training whatsoever, I just skated a lot. For me this meant skating basically everyday and year round. Having certain goals and challenges always helped me a lot, especially back in the days when Endomondo was still around. For example in 2013 I skated 10,000km in one year (~27km/day). I did this in roughly 509 hours which equates to about 10 hours per week. The years of experience also add up for sure. With all the knowledge and experience that I currently have I would say you would need at least 10-15 hours of training per week during peak training and also stay active during the off-season, either by cross training or indoor training and make sure to do a couple of long rides during which you also practice your nutrition. It is also important to have a good pace and nutrition plan for race day and you will need some luck with the weather as well. 


Time for a really important question: Poffertjes or Stroopwafels. Why?

Haha, I really like stroopwafels. I don’t eat a lot of poffertjes, probably as it is a bit of a hassle to make them.


You recently broke 100,000 kms tracked on Strava, that’s crazy. Does cross training with running and cycling make you a stronger skater?

I started running as alternative training in the winter. I experimented a lot with rain setups with fenders and I also skated both the RollsRolls Woody and Sportster for a while, but I never really liked them. Running gave me lots of new challenges and also extended my world beyond the paved tracks I used to skate.

In my experience running helps to maintain and maybe even improve my skating, but not the other way around. I think everyone can benefit from cross training as it also strengthens some muscle groups that receive less attention during skating.

The first photo of someone jogging on SkateIDSA's website.


The Netherlands is arguably a small country that produces a high number of gifted distance skaters. Why is that? Is it something in the water?

There are many different factors involved I think. The size of the country is actually a large contributor as everyone lives close to each other which makes it easy to meet up, have events and skate together. It is also partially cultural as we have a huge bicycle culture in the Netherlands, a lot of people cycle to work and the cycling infrastructure is really good (and safe). The flat roads and good infrastructure make the Netherlands one of the best places to practice distance skateboarding in my opinion. Longboarding in general has been big in the Netherlands for a long time as well, we even have a very active downhill scene (even though we don’t have real mountains in the Netherlands). We also have had several good LDP-focused longboard builders in the Netherlands, Bakaboards in the early days, myself (Vandra skateboards) from 2015-2016 and now Melonenkacke (located in the border region of the Netherlands and Germany).

This does not directly explain the high number of gifted skaters, but at least you will have a larger pool of skaters to sample from.


Dutch LDPers go hard. Group photo from an early event.

In addition to producing your event, you also serve The IDSA board. What kind of things are you working on?

My job at the IDSA is to do recordkeeping and I am also going to be involved in the rules. In order to ratify world records we need to have a controlled and standardized way of measuring race courses. At the moment we are looking for a way to standardize course measurements between all the different events that we sanction and develop a protocol. Lena Meringdal (Melonenkacke) is currently helping me out with that. More about this later. 


You’re in an elite group that has accomplished 300 miles, an incredible feat. What do you do next? How do you keep yourself interested in skating?

As a metric system user, the 500km barrier is still up for grabs. I think my overall fitness still improved quite a bit after 2018, so in theory a 500km+ ultraskate still should be possible. My two serious attempts at breaking 500km failed because of the weather (heat in 2019, rain in 2022).

I mainly keep skating interesting for myself by coming up with new challenges, such as skating uphill for example, see also the video below. 


Bucket list skate spot? If you could travel to any place or to any event where would you go?

I definitely have a list of spots and events I would like to travel to. The first thing that comes to mind is Singapore. Unfortunately, I had to miss the 6 hour race, but I hope to participate in a future event overthere. Another thing on my list is to do one of the Eurovelo routes, for example, the Eurovelo 15 (1,450km) which starts at the origin of the river Rhine in Switzerland and follows the river all the way to the North Sea in the Netherlands.   


Win a spot at The Dutch 1/4 Ultraskate this month

We know it's last minute, but we wanted to give everyone a chance to win a spot on the starting line. Follow the instructions here to win a spot at the race courtesy of SkateIDSA. We kindly ask that you only enter if you can feasibly make the race. If you're 10,000 miles away, maybe sit this one out and let someone else have a better chance winning ya know?

Click here (if there's not link yet, check back soon)



 A Note From The Editor

Despite taking an extended break, Dutch Ultraskate remains one of the historically significant events in our community. Many friendships have been forged on the track in Spaarndam at the expense of a few slugs. We're thrilled to see it on the rebound with strong and dedicated leadership. Big thanks to Lennart for all of his contributions to the sport over the years.


Watch More Lennart 

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